How Much Does A Rehearsal Dinner Cost?

The big day is approaching. All the planning has been done and everybody is eagerly awaiting the festivities. You can’t wait right?

But wow. How costly has it all been? A once in a lifetime day but it’s cost nearly a lifetime of your money! And what’s this? More costs? A rehearsal dinner! 

Rehearsal dinners are important to the overall wedding planning process, but it can be confusing to understand how much it will all cost. You’re worried about it and you need some guidance and help. 

Don’t worry, we’ll help you out. We’re going to explore how much a rehearsal dinner costs along with tips to reduce it and other handy notes for you. 

So, get comfy and grab a pen. Let’s get to some note-taking! 

Wait – What’s A Rehearsal Dinner?!

A rehearsal dinner is an important part of your wedding week. It slots right between the rehearsal and the wedding day. 

It gives both families the opportunity to get to know each other even better before the big day and it’s traditionally the pre-party party. Normally, it kicks off with the dinner – because a dinner wouldn’t be a dinner without food! 

It’s up to the person planning it who will attend and how many. The more you have, the more pricey it will be. Next up, it’s time to give out the gifts. The rehearsal dinner is a great time to give out wedding gifts and receive some – it means you’ll have more time on your wedding day for photographs and other things, but it also means you can spend more time with the gift giver for a chat. You probably won’t have time at your wedding!

Normally at this point, somebody will begin the toasts. It could be the party planner or it could be the groom to toast the bride. Either way, this is the ideal time for it as it is in between the dinner and the dessert. 

Speaking of dessert – that sweet occasion is next. Usually this is the groom’s cake. You’re better off serving that at the rehearsal dinner than the wedding day – you should only have the wedding cake at the wedding! 

How Much Does All This Typically Cost?

Usually it’s 1/13th of the overall cost of the wedding. On average, the rehearsal dinner will set you back $1330. 

It is traditional for your parents to pay for things, but in more modern times – the couple has been taking care of things or the family comes to an arrangement of who pays for what and when. 

If you’re trying to slice that cost down, you could use some of the following tips:

Reduce Your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Costs 

Okay, so the first tip is reduce the amount of guests at your rehearsal dinner. As we have said, the less guests = the less costs. But there are other things you can try:

Forget The Venue

When you’re thinking of a rehearsal dinner, you’ve got a fancy venue in mind and you’re picturing a glamorous event. The thing is, the point of a rehearsal dinner, aside from being traditional, is to allow the families time to get to know one another more intimately, away from the huge crowds and hustle and bustle of the wedding day. 

You can still do all of this, but you don’t necessarily have to book a venue to do it. You can get the same results at a friend’s house, or your house. If you’ve got a little money – you could upgrade the idea to a cheaper venue like a town hall or local bar. 

Better yet, why not rent a little area in your local park. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a place to have games or swimming or sports! If you’ve got great weather, then this is an amazing thing to do. Your guests will truly love that and it costs very little! 

Food Is Costly – Let Someone Else Do It 

Remember that you’re the ones in the spotlight – this is your big day. You should be able to ask for whatever you want! So, why not slash the costs of food by requesting that all guests bring a pot or tray of food with them! 

This pot-luck aspect is not only cheap, but it can be fun (and hopefully tasty!) If you add this plan to the previous points – you’ve got a small gathering at your house and the food was free. Looking good on the budget isn’t it?

If you’re not up for that idea – why not order take-out? Depending on the amount of guests, get some super-sized pies in for a fraction of the cost of a traditional rehearsal dinner. Most people love pizza! 

Another idea is weather dependent. Is it hot out? Well – why not fire up the barbecue?! Get your guests to bring some barbecue food with them and you can do all the toasts, gift giving and chatting while the meat beautifully cooks feet away from you. Can’t get fresher than that! 

Alcohol Costs Money – Sorry!

You might be tempted to pay for an open bar or a heck of a lot of champagne bottles. Forget that! If you’re hosting a barbecue for example, your guests will be happy enough to bring their own booze.

A couple of kegs and cases, along with some assorted bottles of wine – all for everyone and it’ll cost you… however much you want to spend! 

Activities Over Dinner?

Sometimes it’s cheaper to just book a group event and do that instead of a big dinner. You could go skating, fishing, skydiving?! 

Whatever your choice, it’s always a fun option and you’ll still get to mingle with your in-laws and friends. Everybody will get their opportunity to do the speeches and the rest of that. You could decide to have a post-party later at a local bar or back at somebody’s house. 

Rehearsal dinners are traditional but they’re costly. If you need to, use our tips to cut costs!